Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #61: World Events

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #61: World Events

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Eowynil

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Jan 31, 2020
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Good afternoon everyone!

I’m Eowynil, part of the design team here at Triumph and today I will be revealing some of the secrets of a returning feature: World Events! This feature will be included in the upcoming expansion, Invasions, which will be releasing on the 26th of May! Holy cow, that’s in less than 2 weeks.

So, what are World Events?
That’s a great question, let me explain:
They are events that change the behavior of specific mechanics, add combat effects, landmarks, or hazards, or terraform entire sectors! While most events are temporary, some effects are permanent until removed by the player (like spawned hazards and terraformed sectors).

The world events are inspired by a similar system from Age of Wonders III, called Cosmic Events. We’ve taken inspiration from cosmic events, but it quickly turned out that we wanted all new events that are uniquely suited to Planetfall’s game play. Additionally, we’ve also made sure that most of these events are actually two-fold: They consist of a strategic effect and a tactical effect.


A great example of this is the Void Echoes world event: On the strategic layer it gives every colony +1 to every resource that has a colonist working it, while on the Tactical layer it will “clone” a random unit for 2 turns, every 2 turns!

But… why?
Can’t we just make things because they are cool? Well, okay, fair enough.
The World Events aim to change up the pace of the game. They do this by offering the player a choice to lean into the event and try to make use of its effects, which requires some (small) change in their immediate tactics. Sometimes these effects are economic: "Do I change my production around to make use of these effects or not?" Sometimes they are tactical; "Oh shoot my enemy’s most powerful unit just got cloned. Time to change my strategy!"

How about some examples?
There are a total of 27 events, but I will only show you five in this dev diary. You will need to find the rest for yourself once the expansion hits.

First is one of my favorites: Reflective Dust.

It may or may not give everyone Universal Camouflage (spoiler; it does).

Secondly, Interstellar Trade Convoy

These traders have wares if you’ve got… production?

Third, Earthquake

Yes, that’s a new mountain range.

And last but not least, Acid Rains

Say goodbye to your armor.

It’s been a lot of fun to work on the World Events, trying to make them as engaging as possible, and I hope you’re looking forward to playing with them once the expansion hits on May 26th!
 

CrazyJ

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The Dvar are going to love that last event
 
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DragonZee

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Wonder how they will change the game. Sooo, can you turn them on/off?

Btw, the third screen sports a cool albino lizard commander portrait :)
 
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Ridixo

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Yes, that’s a new mountain range.
What are you talking about? That mountains range have always been there and isn't the result of a miscalculation during the try of a new explosive. Nothing to see there move along :rolleyes::p
 
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CrazyJ

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Is there some way to trigger the events? because if it were possible with end game tech, i.e. tier 9, it would be amazing, perhaps something to distract your enemies as you make the final preparations for doomsday
 

BBShockwave

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I remember these from AoW3. Nice to see them back! And the random cloning of units, that seems like a fun Voidtech effect for all players... even if random.
That said, for the Universal Camouflage to work, I hope this means the AI has been fixed not to be able to see cloaked units anymore? I have used the tech in the past and marauder armies always unerringly located my poor cloaked Penguins in the water.
 

BloodyBattleBrain

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I remember these from AoW3. Nice to see them back! And the random cloning of units, that seems like a fun Voidtech effect for all players... even if random.
That said, for the Universal Camouflage to work, I hope this means the AI has been fixed not to be able to see cloaked units anymore? I have used the tech in the past and marauder armies always unerringly located my poor cloaked Penguins in the water.

Pretty sure many of the wildlife templates include detection mods :)
 

Iguanaonastick

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Nah, these were just regular Cheluses/Octowhales, those never come with detection mods. Maybe this was something that got fixed since then.
In AoW3, the way it worked was that if you passed in sight of the enemy (i.e. moved through an adjacent hex, or left the water/forest/whatever was concealing you) on your turn, they could then "see" you for the next couple of turns to represent them hunting you down.

This meant it was quite easy to get accidentally spotted by the AI, especially AI players as you could be spotted by a watchtower or something and then all units of that player would know where your scout was for the next turn or two.

Not sure if it works the same way in Planetfall, but it might.
 
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the_atm

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Is this something that's exclusive to the DLC or will this be added via patch? Either way I'm excited, I loved this feature from what little I played of both Age of Wonders 3 and I believe Civilization Beyond Earth had somethign similar? Or was it Alpha Centauri? I forget.

Either way, love random events that keep you on your toes.
 

BBShockwave

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In AoW3, the way it worked was that if you passed in sight of the enemy (i.e. moved through an adjacent hex, or left the water/forest/whatever was concealing you) on your turn, they could then "see" you for the next couple of turns to represent them hunting you down.

This meant it was quite easy to get accidentally spotted by the AI, especially AI players as you could be spotted by a watchtower or something and then all units of that player would know where your scout was for the next turn or two.

Not sure if it works the same way in Planetfall, but it might.
Nah here I took pains never to go near the enemy stacks, as I knew this rule from AOW3 where this worked like this.
It'd be good if we knew the specifics of how concealment and detection works against the AI in this game.
 

CrazyJ

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the game is a bit unclear as to how universal camo works and since i never really understood it i usually ignore it since the ai very rarely uses it
 

DragonZee

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the game is a bit unclear as to how universal camo works and since i never really understood it i usually ignore it since the ai very rarely uses it
To be honest the practical use for this mechanic has eluded me so far, other then Syndicate Runner that is. I think Amazons can also use it in Forests, but I'm yet to even use this ability in any scenario... Maybe there are some tactics to cheese out AI or sth, out there?
 

CrazyJ

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It's probably only good in multiplayer because i think it means that you can send units into other player's turf without it being trespassing(uncertain about this , it says in the popup about trespassing that if your units are seen it can cause problems but what if they aren't seen?) this would mean that launching a massive stealth attach from within enemy territory is entirely possible, which sounds amazing and is definitely on my to-do list for my next run just for the fun of it.

All the same it sounds like more trouble than it is worth vs the ai since the ai doesn't seem to understand defense. the last time i won a war the ai moved all of it's armies away from it's capitol(which shared a border with me) and then after i conquered it they sent their commander alone on a transport to cross an ocean and attack me, so i sent in my entire main army and obliterated them. In total the war took maybe 5 turns, ten at most depending on if you count the time spent maneuvering my troops to the border.

Tldr that sort of tactic certainly seems fun and would likely be highly effective against anyone who didn't directly counter it, but vs the ai it's more effort than it's worth.